Friday, April 20, 2012

This is Church?

Now I say to you that you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.   Matthew 16:18

This is church?
  • Last Saturday night, my daughters wanted to head to the Community Center to hop in the jacuzzi.  As we were there, two men were sitting in the lobby, sharpening one another and sipping coffee.  I take note that one man is listening intently as the other shares his experience of washing the feet of the Outcasts on a PCC short-term trip to India in March.  This is church?
  • During Holy Week, an intergenerational subset of our 140+ ambassadors to Mexico journey daily to a dilapidated building called Gabriel's House to love on and minister to severely handicapped orphans in Ensenada and are profoundly imacted.  This is church?
  • Our Pastor to Young Adults and Young Marrieds, while prayer walking with a small group of PCCers through Redwood City, is presented with a vulgar prayer request, which he meets with love, truth and grace.  He posts a video describing the experience and an online chat of Christ followers ensues.  Click here and scroll down to his April 11 post.  This is church?
  • Last Sunday morning, about 150 people gathered at Canada College, a mile west of PCC for PCCU (PCC University), sponsored by our PLUS ministry.  These pioneers break out of the physical borders of our campus to bring a new expression of PCC's ministry into our community.  This is church?
  • Three nights a week, followers of Jesus meet on the streets to share a meal with people who have no homes. After the meal, prayer, worship and teaching follow.  This is church?
  • On Sunday, in all three worship gatherings, our high school students and ministry staff boldly and courageously lead our gatherings, testifying to God's love and power changing lives.  This is church?
  • Last month, an intergenerational team of nine traveled to the seemingly ends of the earth, the jungles of the Congo, only to discover that Jesus is alive and well there, and growing a vibrant community of followers of His.  This is church?
This is church?  NO! THIS IS THE CHURCH!  Communities of followers of Jesus take on many forms, many wineskins, and rightly so if we are going to have any chance of influencing our greater community for Jesus.

Alan Hirsch in his must-read book entitled, The Forgotten Ways, is on to something when he writes:  "Ever since the mission and ministry of Jesus, God has never stopped calling for a movement of "Little Jesuses" to follow him into the world and unleash the remarkable redemptive genius that lies in the very message we carry.  Given the situation of the Church in the West, much will now depend on whether we are willing to break out of a stifling herd instinct and find God again in the context of the advancing kingdom of God."

This weekend we begin a two-week celebration around 60 years of God's faithfulness over PCC.  You won't want to miss this Sunday as we experience again a great story of God's grace on a church community.

I love being your pastor!